WASHINGTON: The Internal Revenue Service is seeking an agency to help it with PR, advertising, and marketing projects, including a campaign to encourage voluntary tax compliance. The five-year contract has a total budget of $15 million.
Proposals were due January 30, and oral presentations are taking place this week. The IRS expects to pick a firm by April, a contracting officer at the federal agency said.
Firms in the running include Ogilvy PR Worldwide, Porter Novelli, and Weber Shandwick. Porter is the account's incumbent, the IRS representative said.
The winning firm will be responsible for media-relations services and event planning, as well as creating partnerships with social and civic organizations, according to a copy of the solicitation obtained by PRWeek.
A major part of the work will involve developing a public service campaign to encourage voluntary compliance “by rekindling public spirit and reinforcing personal integrity for paying taxes,” the solicitation said.
The campaign will focus on the concept of fair and equitable taxation and its benefits to consumers. With limited paid advertising funds available, “a digital component of the campaign is essential,” the solicitation says.
The wining firm will also assist the IRS in expanding its use of digital tools, including the possible development of Web-specific products. The federal agency is also considering using RSS feeds, podcasts, downloadable media, and social networks in its outreach.
The contractor will also be responsible for conducting and studying market research on behalf of the IRS and then developing integrated communications strategies, campaigns, or products based on the research.
“Research is also necessary to demonstrate to IRS management that IRS communications are effectively using limited resources,” the solicitation said.
Much of the work developed for the IRS must be understandable to non-English-speaking demographics, the solicitation also said. Parts of the campaign would target new taxpayers, such as immigrants and young adults, about the importance of paying taxes. The campaign could launch as soon as the beginning of next year, the solicitation documents said.